Saturday, March 29, 2008

3/28 & 29 - Busy, Busy, Busy!

Well will I get out all my charters, I have reserved? That's my thoughts right now. I got Friday and Saturday done, and with good success. But as usual when I have booking day after day, I'm rescheduling or cancelling at least a few due to the weather. So Sunday and Monday will be those days.

3/28 - I had regulars Don Hudson and his father-in-law Ralph out to the jetties. The forecast was south wind 5-10 knots. But it wasn't. More like 10-15 knots with mucho residual Southeast swell. We tried doing some Float-rig fishing for Trout first thing, but my gut was telling me it wasn't gonna happen for us. So we packed it up and headed in the river and did some bottom fishing. The action was slow, but did manage 2 big Whiting, a large Seabass, and a 5 pound Black Drum. We kept working the cut clam strips and shrimp combo meals wanting either more Drum, a Sheepshead or Redfish. But it never happened.

But I wasn't out of tricks. Ralph and Don are Float-riggers, so we headed back to a certain area and pitched our floats out with live shrimp and were in an absolute waylay of Yellowmouth Trout. To quote Ralph, a soft spoken man, "I'm all for action!"

And we had action. So much that I never took any photos, because I didn't have any time too.

Plus, we were being "stalked" by another fishing guide too. But that's another story.

The yellowmouths weren't huge, just normal size. There was just so many! We easily boxed out limit of 12 fish, and released just as many. Sometimes it just doesn't matter how big the fish are, it's just so much fun catching them. And Ralph and Don had a good time.

3/29 - The Mayport boat ramp was an absolute ZOO from 0600 hrs. till whenever...we didn't stick around long enough to see the rest. There were so many boats, so many trucks, and so many people everywhere!

It looked like the opening day of boating season, up north somewhere. And gas was FREE, bait was FREE and the fish were jumping in boats! It's funny, I'm in the people business I know. But crowds make me very nervous and anxious.....I hate them! Because many times my j-o-b gets alot harder with a lot of boats around. But thank goodness most of the masses were heading offshore, so it seemed.

Right on time, Martin Combs and his mother Joan and son Bradly came down to the ramp, and we quickly left. We went float-rig fishing and caught plenty of yellowmouth Trout, but many were small, so we didn't keep them. But they were quickly getting acquainted with the ways and means of what I do. So we left that spot and headed to where I hoped to find some Speckled Trout. And Joan was the first to hook up a really nice one.

Then after that it was pretty much.......GAME ON!

More Trout, 18-20" and some small ones too. Then Sheepshead, then a Bluefish, then more Trout. Just where, and just what my GUT FEELING, told me. We sat in one spot for a long time, having a ball. And Bradly even hooked a Sea Turtle. Not all that uncommon, they like shrimp too. So we unhooked it, no worse for the wear.
As the tide slowed, we moved to the end of the
jetties and tried some quick jigging for Redfish,
but never had a bite. Then moved again and tried for some more Yellowmouth trout, but the current wasn't correct for that either. We had a really slow incoming tide this weekend, less than 4 feet. So it was the falling tide or nothing for us Float freaks.

The weather was so perfect, that the tide conditions almost didn't matter. Martin, Joan and Bradly went home with a big bag of fillets, stories to tell, and I saw myself in 14 year old Bradly. He was a fisherman! So I referred to him as a "mini-me" .
It seems so long ago, when I was just like him. Ate up with catching fish. learning, casting, and everything else that comes with becoming an accomplished angler. And I'm lucky to be able to take a young man like him and remember back when I was just like him.
See the rest of todays catch pics on my "recent catches" pages: